Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor

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The Not-So Amazing Race

Years ago, when I saw a casting call for the Amazing Race, I thought about it. Travel the world? Win expensive travel packages? Race around the world for one million dollars?

Then I did something I’ve never done before:

The Math.

After the tax man has cometh, one-million dollars turns into $500,000. That $500,000 has to be sliced evenly between you and your partner. Even if you carried your partner in your arms like a baby the whole time and still miraculously ended up in the winners’ circle; you’d have to split it. Otherwise, you’d be the jerk who said, “I should get 70% because I won 70% of the challenges.”

The most you can bring home is $250,000. IF you win. And then, you’d have save for your kids’ college, buy a house, retire mom, give to all the third world countries you traipsed through during your ’round the world jaunt.

That’s if you win.

Winning seems much less exciting to me. But there’s still the glorious-magnificent-earth-shattering travel right? Here’s the thing about that…

5 Reasons I’d never try out for the Amazing Race

1. I like to SEE things when I travel
I fully plan on seeing the world and writing as I go, but at my own pace. I get that the show is spliced and edited into episodes, but it moves so fast, there’s no seeing anything. If I go to Bali, I want to swim and surf without this nagging voice that says, oh yeah, it’s time to get out of this bath-like water now or I’LL BE ELIMINATED IN FRONT OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE.

2. I’m bad at sports

If the challenges involved eating 100-plus Cheetos in a sitting, or sniffing out the most infested food cart, it would be game on. But they don’t. No, the race comprises terrifying challenges only those who endorse sports drinks should do, like base jumping and freefalling.

This would happen to me. Twice.


3. I have no Interesting Backstory

Amazing Race teams fall into two categories:

Couples with gleaming teeth and tight calves or partners with an interesting backstory that can be broken down into a one-word nickname: Doctors. Pirates. Debutantes. Divorcees.

I don’t have much of a backstory. I transpose lettesr a lot but can’t say I’m dyslexic. I grew out of my scoliosis. I compulsively stockpile Cadbury mini-eggs, but that’s not a backstory. Continue reading

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Travel More, Write More, Exercise Sometimes

I traveled back to Chicago for the holidays. I’m currently writing a post on why you should visit the southside of the city, complete with what to wear to an over-crowded jazz club and where to find the city’s best hotpot.

Note: I didn’t say hot dog. Just walk to the nearest hot dog stand. Order everything but ketchup.

If you’re a tourist, it will be the best hot dog you’ve ever had.

What I did on my Christmas Vacation

travel writer eats chicken tenders

Pinkie out. The only way to eat chicken tenders.

  • I saved Christmas, Martha Stewart-style with a signature cocktail. You could put dishwater in a fancy glass and add a candy cane stirrer and people will like it. Picture to come.
  • Got treated to a private performance by a burgeoning pianist that nearly brought me to tears.
  • Lost in a Big Buckhunter family tournament. The game’s just too realistic for this animal lover. Also, I have a habit of shooting female bison.

While I enjoy the beginning of a new year, I don’t make typical New Year’s resolutions.

I am damn-near perfect. So what if when I don’t have coffee, I go through Trainspotting-esque withdrawals?

So what if I swear in front of eight-year olds (whoops)? So what if I don’t have a robust retirement account? It’s not like Suze Orman will be coming over for dinner tomorrow. I find resolutions too negative. Don’t do ____. Instantly, the blank becomes so much more intriguing. Something in my brain rebels and I will do whatever I can to eat bread, to watch more TV, to spend money.

Not really resolutions, resolutions

  • My first resolution is to love myself a little more. The more I appreciate my health and know who I am and what I can achieve, the more I am naturally drawn to doing good things for me. I know it sounds so trite, like something Oprah would say. But this is where to start.
  • Respect dry cleaning tags. I have a tenancy to just toss and go and lost a lot of great shirts to my over-enthusiastic dryer.
  • Not to eat more than three Lindor truffles in a sitting.
  • Write everyday, but not for work.
  • Practice French at least once a week with real people, even those awful pretentious types I keep running into.
  • And to find a way to make a living doing exactly this.


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Dear Media, We Need to Talk

Video on how media should cover a mass murder

I am not the person to write about What Happened last Friday. I am a travel blogger and when I am not traveling, I am trying to make people laugh. Expect what follows to be slightly off topic and serious.  One travel’s greatest gifts is the ability to look at your own country through a long lens – see its beauty, as well as its flaws.

The USA gets a lot right. And a lot wrong.

I will not use the location or the keywords associated with What Happened because it is not my intention to use it to bolster my blog readership and I am absolutely disgusted by anyone who would do so.

I would like to tell reporters who shoddily covered What Happened exactly What I think of them.

Let me just say: I love the news. Previously, I worked as a journalist at several small newspapers. I think most journalists are honorable, heroic, worthy of medals for risking their lives to cover wars and conflicts in far off places while the rest of the world reads the stories from safe at home.

I think the world needs more good journalists to build bridges across the sky, to places and people we’d never know otherwise. I am a strong proponent of freedom of speech. I am vehemently anti-censorship.

HOWEVER, coverage of What Happened has been irresponsible and dangerous on multiple levels. Continue reading